Let Your Life Speak: Upper School peer educators prepare for the year ahead
This year’s roster of Upper School peer educators got off to a promising start last weekend after a successful, intensive planning retreat at Camp Puh’tok!
Friends Scool of Baltimore is one of 20 independent schools in the Baltimore metropolitan region that participates in the Christopher O’Neil Peer Education Program. The program, created via a foundation established by Pam and Tom O’Neil in memory of their son who was killed by a teenage drunk driver, aims to promote physical and emotional well-being. Selected high school students or “peer educators” present a variety of health lessons to younger students over the course of an academic year.
Peer educators at Friends School are nominated by faculty for their ability to demonstrate healthy decision making and strong community citizenship. The group, which includes students in 10th-12 grades, meets regularly throughout the year. The Upper School peer educators work closely with 8th graders throughout the year, teaching many life-relevant topics like ‘how to maintain healthy relationships’ and ‘how to help a friend in need’. While the classes are completely peer-led, the educators are guided in their learning by faculty members, Schoen Oakes, and Amy Melchin.
One of the most exciting program developments this year will be realized in the spring, as Upper School peer educators will join Lower School junior peer educators to plan the annual “Day of Wonder” celebration. The Day of Wonder is dedicated to raising awareness around people living with disabilities and is entirely facilitated by both teams of peer educators, which is no small feat!
Participation in this incredible program is one of the many ways that Friends students embrace the Quaker tenant, 'Let Your Life Speak'.